Use of pepper spray against protesters outside KC Trump rally debated before police board

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City police board members heard from the police chief and protesters over the use of pepper spray used outside the Donald Trump rally on March 12.

Although it has been over a month since protesters swarmed the Midland Theatre, there is still much controversy over the Kansas City Police Department’s use of pepper spray to control the crowd.

On Tuesday, people on both sides of the issue voiced their opinions to the police board.

There was not one injury, no property damage, four arrests, and only one person out of the entire crowd who filed a complaint. Police say perhaps part of the reason is because the crowd was never allowed to get totally out of control.

Police used pepper spray to control the crowd, and while police say it worked, some protesters - who showed up at the police board meeting, are still upset about it.

“We did not have shields, we didn't have our helmets or anything like that. We started with the right tone,” said KCPD Chief Darryl Forte.

Chief Forte used video from street cameras and cellphones to show the members of the police board what has says officers were dealing with outside of the Trump rally almost a month ago.

The first use of pepper spray moved protesters out of the street, and before the second time?

“As you can see, the officers composed throughout the entire incident, and I don't know if you can hear what they were saying, but they were saying ‘link up’ and then the chant started, ‘whose street, our street,’” Chief Forte said.

As protesters backed towards the police, he said they had well over a minute and several warnings to follow police instructions and stay on the sidewalk before officers again used pepper spray to control the crowd.

“You have citizens right here in Kansas City who are ****** off at the treatment police are giving us,” said one woman who attended the meeting.

Several protesters showed up to tell members of the police board their side of the story.

“We stayed on the sidewalk, we never got into the street, for whatever reason I was sprayed both times,” said Jill Butler.

“I believe that unleashing the canisters of pepper spray on to a mass of people was misconduct,” said Patrick Sumner.

While there were no major disruptions, a couple of protesters holding signs were escorted from the meeting. In the end, the Kansas City Mayor Sly James said the video spoke louder than their words.

“My opinion hasn`t changed. I understand what they are saying but the film is clear,” said Mayor James. “In my opinion, I understand the need to protest, but when you deliberately decide that you are going to lock arms and back into the street after the police have asked you repeatedly not to, you are going to have a response.”

“If they had simply done what the police asked several times, we wouldn't have this issue at all,” he continued.

One person arrested during the Trump protest was supposed to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon, but their court date was continued.